Some people love hashtags [that # symbol placed before a key word], they shower their social media posts with them adding 10 random words that appear unconnected to the context of their tweet or post! But, used correctly, #hashtags can be a powerful way to increase your personal or business brand.
Social media provides a unique opportunity for brands to connect with fans on an individual level. Savvy use of the hashtag can help you achieve engagement that builds loyalty and brand advocates.
Here are three simple tips for using hashtags for business effectively.
Shorter hashtags work best. Long complex hashtags can be hard to remember and if users get it wrong, what’s the point? Consistently using the same hashtags when referring to your business allows your fans and followers to find other relevant tweets and posts, quickly and easily. Using short consistent hashtags means followers are more likely to add your hashtag to their posts.
Businesses can use hashtags to gauge the level of interest in a product, pre-launch. This can help spread the word and build anticipation about their new offering. It can also be an informal measure to predict sales.
“Music albums are an excellent example of where this is done well. Justin Timberlake used a hashtag on multiple social networks to post pictures, videos and other media assets to build anticipation around his upcoming album #The2020Experience. Because his fans were thrilled to assist in building album anticipation, they adopted the hashtag as well, increasing its momentum.” [source: Business Review Australia].
Social media is about engagement. You want people to like and comment on your posts and tweets and to share their opinions. So don’t bombard fans and followers with relentless self-promotion or they will soon unlike your fan page and unfollow you! Instead focus on genuine engagement and conversation. Content should be relevant and interesting, but doesn’t always have to be about your organisation.
Jody Sharpe has over 20 years experience in marketing & branding and is passionate about helping local small businesses grow.